The best gaming desk can quite literally change the way you game. At its simplest, a suitable gaming desk should give you plenty of space for your keyboard, mouse, and monitor—all in a sturdy and ergonomic frame. You also have the option of standing desks now, with motorized options to jump between sitting and standing modes in a moment. Pair your dream desk with a sturdy gaming chair, and you’ll be set. Alternatively, match it with a treadmill and watch the weight melt away while you WoW.
Choosing the best gaming desk among all the potentials can be difficult. So narrow it down first. Consider whether you’re looking to sit, stand, or both. There are benefits to spending some time on your feet, so an electric standing desk, or a desk converter, might be a better fit for you.
Also, consider how much real estate you need for your gaming monitors and, should you take our recommendation to pop your PC on it, away from the dusty floor, whether there will still be enough space for one of the best gaming keyboards.
Gaming desks with cut-outs to run cables through also exist, as well as other quality-of-life features, though you’ll likely pay a premium for the convenience. Still, it’s better than going cheap and replacing your entire desk every eight months. Some retailers offer extended warranties, which might be a good investment, especially for electric desks, in case the controls don’t respond once a day.
The best gaming desk
(Image credit: Flexispot)
The Flexispot EN1B may not have the catchiest name here, but it makes for an impressively sturdy, motorized adjustable desk for anyone looking to upgrade their home/gaming/office setup. And it will do it all at a reasonable price.
The Flexispot supports heights from 71cm (27.8in) up to 121cm (47.6in), which should have you covered for all comfortable sitting and standing setups. The control panel can hold three different height profiles in its memory banks and moves smoothly between them. Or you can set your height manually, with the current level shown on the three-digit display.
Of course, the main thing you want from any desk is stability. If everything is bouncing along as you type, it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting or standing; you’re going to want to break it up. The good news is that the Flexipost is rock solid—even though I have an old screen with a flimsy stand, it doesn’t move even with my most aggressive emails. When you raise and lower the desk, the smooth action instills confidence too, and it’s just as sturdy at its highest position.
Construction is a straightforward task, taking just over an hour to turn the two boxes into a working, versatile desk. A few more pre-drilled holes for the control box and the central beam would have been nice, but the surface is easy enough to screw into with a bit of elbow grease.
The only downside to the whole desk is that there are no sensors to stop the motor if it hits an obstacle when it’s going down, which could be expensive if your chair gets caught under it—or upsetting if it’s your cat. Overall, an impressive desk for sitting and standing, for really not much cash.
(Image credit: Arozzi)
First, this thing is excruciatingly heavy; I had to get help rolling the two separate boxes into the living room for unpacking. Once there, however, it took me around two hours to get it all together. After one minor cockup, a dash of assistance, and a pinch of spice, we finally got there. Now in my living room stands this beautifully rounded monstrosity, with enough desktop real estate to take on the state of Alaska.
The manual’s adorable illustrations made the process streamlined, but I will say the machining quality was a little off, with some misaligned holes and parts not sitting as flush as I would’ve expected. The legs are sturdy, but consider the surface you’re going to place the thing on carefully.
It recommends rug or carpet placement, as opposed to a hard surface floor. It has settled nicely into my thick carpet after some anxiety over precarious wobbles, but there’s still a fair amount of travel when I push up to get out of my chair.
The built-in mesh hammock for cable management, however, is fantastic. And I’m no longer vexed by constantly falling off the edge of my mouse mat because the desktop’s whole surface is a mouse mat. I was mesmerized by the hydrophobic surface and had to resist deliberately spilling drinks to watch the liquid ball up. And, perhaps most of all, I love having so much desktop space.
So, while the engineers in my family would have been a little distressed by the setup, I am pretty enamored with the final beast. I can fit my gaming tower up top comfortably, alongside my two monitors and peripherals, with loads of space for coffee cups, open notebooks, and even a lamp. I’d say that’s a win.
(Image credit: Future)
Surprisingly innovative. That’s how I’ll sum up the Secretlab Magnus Pro XL. I’ve never been one to look for much in a gaming desk—I ask only for a flat plane on which to sit my monitors, keyboard, and mouse—yet the Magnus Pro XL has so thoroughly impressed me that I’m starting to reconsider my whole opinion of what a desk should be.
I’m now firmly in the camp that a desk should be absolutely massive. The Magnus Pro XL is the largest desk I’ve ever used personally, having only recently found the space for such a behemoth, coming in at 177cm x 80cm. This is also the heaviest desk I’ve ever had to move solo by far, at 32.9kg for the desk alone. The mostly metal frame of the Magnus Pro XL, explains some of that, though it’s the two included motors, one integrated into each of the legs, which add a whole lot of mass to the equation.
But that’s what makes this the Magnus Pro XL: the desk’s adjustable sit/stand functionality. The standard Magnus doesn’t offer this. The Magnus Pro XL is capable of lifting 120kg in gross weight (87.1kg if you subtract the weight of the metal desk itself) up to a height of 125cm. It sits only 65cm off the ground at its lowest.
Another thing I’ve come to re-evaluate since the Magnus XL is how a desk should handle cable management. The foremost impressive thing about the Secretlab Magnus Pro XL is how sharp and clean-cut it makes your PC setup look. That’s not through a lack of cables on my part, of which I have arguably too many, but for the Magnus Pro XL’s clever magnetic cable management accessories and discrete cable tray. These hide my gluttony of USB, audio, and power cables out of sight.
The one accessory I really do think is worth investing in is the dual monitor arm.
My favourite of which is the compact cable tidy: a small block of metal with a couple of strong magnets within that securely fixes my cables in place.
Though it must be noted that these magnetic cable ties are not included within the cost of the desk itself, and instead can be purchased for $25 for a set of three or for $49 as a set of three alongside two cable management sheaths and a stack of fastening straps.
This is the thing: the Secretlab Magnus Pro XL requires some added expense to make it as sleek an experience as it should be.
The one accessory I really do think is worth investing in is the dual monitor arm. It’s a single unit that clamps firmly onto the desk, between the hinged cover and the desk itself, and it offers sprawling reach for both the 28-inch and 32-inch monitors I’ve got in right now.
Ultimately I have to ask myself would I be happy with this desk if I’d paid that sort of sum for it? And, yes, I would. Though it is a definite luxury to be able to allocate that much of your budget to a component in no way connected to the performance of your gaming PC. The main reason I feel it worth doing is more because I feel I fit into a group of people most likely to benefit from an investment in a high quality sit/stand desk alongside an ergonomic gaming chair: those that work primarily from home.
I really am impressed with what the Magnus Pro XL offers, as it’s much more than anything I had expected from a desk previously.
Read our full Secretlab Magnus Pro XL review.
(Image credit: Lian Li)
The Lian Li DK-04F is the ultimate gaming desk, simply because it will essentially also be your PC and its security device too. It’s going to be incredibly hard for any would-be thief to make off with your rig should it be housed inside this weighty beast. With a 1 meter width, this behemoth is the smaller sibling, too; Lian Li also makes the DK-05F, in which you can fit two discrete gaming PCs.
The desk itself is not that easy to build, however. The individual legs are super heavy, and the metal ‘chassis’ isn’t much better. You’ll need a hand making it, or maybe an engine winch.
It’s classic Lian Li, too, by which I mean my fingers were striped with bloody slices once the chassis-on-legs were built. There were also some misaligned screw holes on my review sample, though that has not impacted its impressive solidity. In the end, even with a couple of monitors mounted directly on the desktop, it’s a robust desktop, even at its full height.
Then there’s that tempered glass top. It’s frosted, which makes the included RGB strips look great when your system’s fully built, but at a single button press, it can be made crystal clear so you can gaze adoringly down into your PC’s insides. It’s completely unnecessary, and I love it. However, it’s a blessing and a curse because even the best gaming mouse will need a good mouse mat with that glass surface beneath it.
But, at $1,500, it’s insanely expensive, and with just a one-year warranty, that feels a little stingy too. And that’s also without any of the components needed actually to build a PC into it. All told, that’s a hell of a lot for a gaming desk and a lot for a PC chassis. But it is a lovely, lovely thing for the serious enthusiast.
(Image credit: VariDesk)
You may not want to replace your office furniture completely—or even be able to if it’s not yours—which makes a converter, such as VariDesk’s Pro Plus range, a great option. The Pro Plus is available in different sizes, can sit atop most desktops, and immediately allows you to switch from sitting to standing.
It’s also one of the simplest ways to get yourself a standing desk; it requires no setup and doesn’t impact the desktop you place it on. The VariDesk Pro Plus comes ready to roll straight out of the box. All you need to do is put it on top of your current desk, and you’re good to go. You’ll need some strength to get it there as this thing is not light.
Though, once it’s set up, that’s not an issue and means it’s an impressively sturdy solution at each of its 11-height settings. We’ve been able to run a pair of monitors on the top section with the extended lower section ideal for a mouse and keyboard. Okay, it’s not ideal for a mouse because the surface does not play nice with most sensors. We had to jury rig our shaped mouse mat to get a decent experience, but the two-tier stepping still makes for an excellent desktop.
The VariDesk isn’t motorized, but it uses a spring-loaded mechanism with twin handles to make it easy to move from sitting to standing quickly. The action is smooth and doesn’t require tremendous force to shift, even when multiple monitors and peripherals sit on top of it.
(Image credit: BDI)
The first thing you’ll notice is that the BDI Stance is gorgeous. The satin-etched tempered glass surface and powder-coated steel legs put it leagues ahead of cheaper standing desks, which often use a laminate surface that is easy to scuff up. BDI claims its glass finish offers protection against scratches and fingerprints, and our experience mostly validates that claim.
Assembly took over an hour, and we recommend having a second person around to help get it upright since it weighs over 100 pounds. The 48 x 24-inch desk was more than enough space for me, though if you need the extra room, these desks also come as large as 66 x 30-inches.
Overall, the Stance has a modern minimalist look to it, and the tempered glass finish gives off strong CEO-of-a-tech-startup energy—whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you. The modesty panel is nice for hiding sloppy cable work but not necessary if you plan to put the desk in the corner of a room.
I mentioned earlier that this desk isn’t cheap, and I meant it: The Stance retails for $1,450. This doesn’t include the cost of the keyboard drawer ($200) or modesty panel ($129). Much like a good couch, a good desk costs a lot upfront but will last you years—but spending over $1,700 on a desk is probably a non-starter for most gamers. You could buy a high-end PC and a cheaper desk for the same amount.
If you’re willing to pay for it, BDI’s Stance desk works well as a desk for work and play. I’ve been standing while gaming for over a year and love it. The Stance just gives me peace of mind. I don’t have to worry about a cable being snagged in a riser or that the desk will buckle under its weight. You can find a less fancy electric desk online for a fraction of the price if you’re on a tighter budget. Ergonomic furniture isn’t cheap, but the Stance is definitely in the luxury ergonomics category.
The only big negative against Stance as a gaming desk is a noticeable lack of storage. An optional keyboard drawer is a great place to hide a keyboard and mouse since there are little cut-outs to run the cable through. The keyboard drawer’s surface is an unflattering textured rubber that doesn’t make for a great gaming mouse surface for day-to-day use. If you skip the drawer, invest in a giant mousepad to give you all the gaming surface you need without smudging the glass.
Sure it’s super-pricey, but if you have about $1,400 burning a hole in your pocket and are looking to class up your work and play space, the BDI Stance electric lift desks are seriously well-crafted and stylish.
Best gaming desk FAQ
What is the best size for a gaming desk?
There are multiple sizes of gaming desk, mostly going up to around 60 x 30 inches, with 40 x 30 inches another popular size. Which you prefer will largely depend on how much space you have available and how many monitors you are looking to stand atop it.
Is a gaming desk worth it?
That depends on what you class as a ‘gaming desk.’ Indeed, it’s worth having a dedicated desk upon which to have your monitor and keyboard and mouse, from an ergonomic point of view at the very least. Balancing your kit on top of a chest of drawers where you can’t get your feet under is terrible for your posture and sitting at a dining room table isn’t going to help either.
But specific gaming desks can be helpful in that they may have cable routing for your peripherals and power leads and may even have an entire mouse mat surface across it. RGB on a gaming desk? Now, that’s probably not worth it.
Do I need a sitting/standing desk?
There has been a lot of talk recently about how our increasingly sedentary lifestyle can harm our health. And if you sit down for much of your working day and then sit down to enjoy your favorite games for hours on end in the evening, then chances are that you’re not going to be moving around that much, which is bad.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a standing desk because purely standing all day and night isn’t good for you either. Movement is the key thing, so even if you have a sitting desk, you can remain healthy by regularly shifting position and getting up out of your seat often.
A desk that can transition between both is ideal, as that will offer the benefits of both and encourage you to move between sitting and standing throughout the day. And they don’t have to be ridiculously expensive either.